39 posts categorized "Current Events"

Politics - An Ordinary Wife

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comPolitics and an ordinary believing wife. That would be me.

So, let’s pick up with one more truth to navigate the political season with our pre-believer.

Three: Politics won't rescue our world.

The shootings in America, the bombings in France and Belgium, the massacre in Nice, France, with a truck are utterly evil. They shock us to our core and the enemy uses these events to release fear into our hearts, homes and nations. No matter how many laws you pass, you can’t legislate evil out of the world.

Our world needs a heart change. It’s about the heart. It’s LOVE that changes everything.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18

And my friends, we are loved -perfectly.

It’s a perfect kind of love that flows from our Father that empowers and moves me to love my husband even as we watch the evening news during a political season. It’s an unexplainable, heart-changing and supernatural love that overrides my fear of the future, fear about the political season and fear over my husband’s salvation.

Our Father is good. Utterly good. His intentions for His kids is goodness, prosperity, love, and adventure just to name a few. We need only begin to walk in His truth and let it transforms us from fearful and ridged people into beautiful, kind, good and giving believers.

So, even though at times, as I watch the news and I find myself wanting to speak truth to my husband as the talking heads roar on the tube, I fall under the restraint of the Holy Spirit and know my God loves me. He loves my husband. He loves this beautiful world he created. He hasn’t abandoned us as orphans and He is executing His extraordinary and astonishing plans. And it continues to blow my mind that He asks us to participate with Him in His strategies. Our faith, our prayers our votes, they matter…..

They matter so very much.

Be at peace this election season. Don’t become riled up over all the crazy. Pray and respond in love and in the grace of the Holy Spirit. Who knows? Come November maybe God will surprise all of us.

I adore you my friend. Thanks for tagging along with me as I work through my own angst about this season. Your grace and love overwhelms me. I adore you. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Politics Part II

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSo, ya, I’m a glutton for punishment as I’m going to talk about politics AGAIN! *Sheesh*

Let’s look at the next truth as it applies to our homes, marriage and politics. This next one is a biggie!

Two: God doesn’t need to be defended.

So, I’m not sure if you relate to this but in our early years of marriage, I felt it was my duty to defend God and His ways to my husband. It was as though, I had to stand for righteousness and point out the error of my husband’s ways and strive unto exhaustion to convince him to change his beliefs and political views.

Anyone????

Oh SUMers, what a relief to hand that burden over to Jesus. I think so many of us have labored through that messy minefield. We can’t save our husbands – at A L L. That job belongs to Jesus. Hallelujah!

If you just read this and feel as though you have been stuck in the badlands trying to convince your husband the error of his ways, well, today is YOUR FREEDOM DAY. Pray with me.

Lord Jesus, I’m sorry I have taken on the burden to save my husband/wife. I repent and I ask your forgiveness. Today Lord Jesus, I step out of the way and I surrender my spouse over to you. I know that when I pray within your will, you answer. And I know that it is your will that no person should perish. That’s your Word in 2 Peter 3:9.

Jesus, I place the full burden into your capable hands and I ask you to move quickly to save my spouse. Reveal your love and purposes to her/him. Keep him from the deceptions and lies of the demonic and bring him into the truth and grace of heaven. In your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

Okay, if you just prayed this prayer I want you to leave your spouse’s name in the comments along with a hardy, AMEN, and anything else you believe you want to state in writing into the heavenly realm. I’m believing for us right now that writing our spouse’s name and a prayer over them is symbolic of our united prayers for that person. And I’m asking now that the Lord moves in power with angelic assignments over these prayers.

So right now, I state a hardy and loud. AMEN over Mike Donovan for his full salvation and receiving of the Holy Spirit, even now Lord, today. AMEN

Okay, what say you? See you in the comments. I love you SUMite Nation. You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I have more to share on this topic. Stay tuned.) 

I heart you SUM Nation. Have a really great day! Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Politics And My Spouse

Daniel 2 21So, ahem ya!

Not a topic that any sane person should delve into, however, I’m wondering how many of you are dealing with conflict at home because of differing views over the Presidential election in America?

Anyone?

I suspect I’m not alone. For those of you who are in harmony with your spouse over political choices, give the rest of us grace as we try to wade through this issue. And for the SUMite family who live outside of the USA, PLEASE pray for us. We need it!

I want to start this conversation by stating clearly a few things. One, I’m not supporting a specific candidate nor trying to sway anyone toward or away from a candidate. Two, we will have this conversation in this house covered by grace and without condemnation or anger. Three, I absolutely believe that God’s people should vote.

What I really want to talk about is how do we handle the election seasons with an unbelieving spouse? I want to talk about this because this issue is very personal. So bear with me if you can’t relate so much. Try to apply what I share to other areas where you have extreme conflict with your spouse, and let’s apply some wisdom to all of our lives (and politics).

Okay? We good?

Moving on…..

I’m going to share what happens in the Donovan Clan house during an election cycle and also share some personal insights. Your experience may be similar or somewhat different.

First, I’ve come to understand that every four years our home falls under a distinct tension. Mike and I have been married for nearly 25 years and I know that every summer heading to a November election, strain arises in our marriage, especially if we watch the evening national news broadcasts together which is typical for us. I can almost feel it in the air: division, anger, disgust, unbelief etc. etc. etc. and these are just my emotions. *grin*

The political process is geared to divide. Divide the country and it divides our unity in marriage. This fact makes me fume, personally.

You may ask, “Lynn, why do you let it get to you?”

Well, in the last few years, political decisions have greatly affected the moral compass and positions of our citizenry. The Supreme Court irrevocably impacted the sanctity of marriage through a ruling last June. The judges on the Federal Bench in California have ruled time and again against principals and positions that are Biblical in their truth and standing. Right now the California Legislature is poised to remove all codes of conduct from the 20 plus Christian Universities in our State. You can bet the laws they are passing right now to change the morality at the Christian universities will be drawn up against our churches in the state in a matter of months. The ramifications are disastrous for marriages and families and for people of faith.

Our voice and our votes matter.

So, you can see how I might be a little concerned about the political system.

Now here is the rub. My husband is usually a very mild-mannered, phlegmatic man, however, when it comes to politics he is as far left as you can get. He is very passionate about politics. In fact, I’ve come to realize that the DNC is his god. He gets truly fired up about his beliefs and wholeheartedly supports the direction the DNC takes regarding all issues. He is not like this about anything else. (No offense intended democratic SUMites. I’m only stating how extreme my husband is.)

So this brings me to the nightly news and what I have learned over the years. I share my hard-fought lessons with you in the hopes you won’t spend as much time and grief in the arena with your husband over politics.

One: God is on the throne no matter who is in the house (White house). Can I get an amen!

Just reading that doesn’t it bring your heart peace? My friends, I can just imagine God sitting on the throne, looking down at earth at the ceaseless whirring of the political machine. He sits back and then gives a hardy, belly-laugh about all the nonsense that is spinning on earth.

SUMites, we can take a second, catch our breath and KNOW that God isn’t up there fretting that the world seems to have gone mad. He isn’t surprised by the climate and insanity in our world. He’s actually seen it all before. It’s frustrating to say this -but history repeats itself. Mankind continues to fall away from God.

He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. —Daniel 2:21 (NLT)

This passage gives me comfort in its truth.

What I think makes God shake His head is this. His Kids, that would be us, -we don’t pray. We are a vital piece of the solution to create unity and bring Godly people and decisions to our world. Our prayers have enormous impact upon the demonic realm that is the source of all conflict, especially in politics. So, let’s pray.

I challenge you to meet with friends and pray specifically for our election and our country between now and November. Did you know that the last Great Awakening began because people in New York City began to meet in homes and businesses and they prayed. Prayer works and right now our world NEEDS another Great Awakening.

I pray with a couple of gals in my home every other Friday and Wow Wee. We set the heavenly realms ablaze with our prayers for our country. So, I ask you right now, be intentional and gather one or two around you to pray once a week or biweekly.

Now let me tell you what I think is really happening. The next Great Awakening is already underway. I know you are overwhelmed by the unrelenting evil in the world right now. But there is enormous good. The good people and good deeds and the miraculous doesn’t make the evening news but it’s happening all over the place. And you, SUMites, you are part of this Awakening. You are leaders in preparing our world for the end times. (Okay, I’m getting off topic, but God has recently shared so much with me about how He has been grooming the unequally yoked specifically for future events. I have SO MUCH to share about this. But alas, it must happen after this series.)

So, are you up for the challenge? Can you pray at home in your quiet time? Will you stick with me as we meander down this road? And did any of this help someone?

I have more. On Monday let’s look at item number two… It’s awesome. LOVE you my family, you are an amazing bunch of God’s Kids and I adore you. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Fear Vs. God!!! WE WIN... RIGHT NOW!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comThis past few weeks have been fantastically interesting.

Brexit – American politics – mass shootings – Stock Market crash – Zika Virus – Alligators at Disney World – Canada in turmoil – Israel – finances – kidnapping –

…..and these are just the headlines from the past couple of weeks!

Can I just say…….. Sheesh! Enough already!

FEAR has permeated just about all aspects of life.

----- My friends, I intended to write about fear and our identity but today I want to address our fears about our world. I’m so sorry to those of you who want more teaching on identity. Please forgive me as I will have to write about that very large concept in the future. Today is my last post until August 1st. I’m taking a writing break during July. I will be doing some travel and catching up on a few projects in my office during the month. The time will fly. Dineen is at the helm and she is amazing. I know she is working on some things for the month of July already.

OKAY – Back to this fear thing.

FEAR IS A SPIRIT. It is a demonic force that is highly effective to destroy mankind. What is satan’s mission? In John 10:10 – to kill, steal and destroy.

Think about it. We live in a world where fear is everywhere. The enemy uses fear to stir up our emotions. Fear is at the heart of politics, it is prominent in religious organizations, in government, schools and fear is the primary tool in a political campaign. Fear is rampant on television. The enemy shouts fear 24/7 from ALL media sources.

Now sit back because I want to tell you the truth about fear.

Fear is a lie.

I want to debunk some of the great fears our world is currently facing. I’m sharing a side of the issues that I believe are truthful and are Kingdom inspired.

Let’s take Biexit. Currently the nation is swimming in turmoil. We have many of our own readership who live in Great Britton and are caught in this ugly and frightful tide.

After some prayer, this is what Jesus has placed upon my heart about this fantastic country.

The United Kingdom has been a proud country for many, many centuries. It has endured great wars and struggles and yet the people there, my people, have been resilient and powerful. They have been independent and sovereign and quite successful for millennia. They may have departed from a political and economic coalition today and the nation may struggle as they work to regain their sovereign state, but they are a strong people and will regain their country. They have no need to fear. Could there be challenges. Might the children be denied a similar retirement as their fathers? Perhaps but perhaps not. It may look different from today but this nation is mine. Now,….. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

My dear, dear sisters and brothers, SUMites across the pond. We are praying for you. Jesus sees you and He will not abandon you. Keep praying.

Okay, how about the fears we have in America over the advancement of sexual sin in our country? Let me share a conversation between my daughter, Caitie who is 21 and attend a Christian college.

Me, “Caitie, I just feel enormously burdened about the direction of our country. So many of our Christian values are under attack and thwarted in the political and legal realms.”

Caitie in her blunt and surprisingly mature wisdom replies, “Mom! You are not going to save the world. Jesus will save the world. And think about this mom, none of this (meaning the legislative changes to marriage, and the pending legislation in California to discredit Christian colleges)….. Mom, none of these things happening in our culture is new to God.”

“Look at the Roman culture, mom. This kind of sexual sin has been around since the dawn of mankind. God knows what He is doing and we don’t need to be afraid.”

“You are so right, Caitie. We must continue to pray.”

SUMites, WE DON’T NEED TO BE AFRAID. How do I know? Because God is awakening the church. If you are a reader here, YOU have been called into this awakening. Things are happening in churches everywhere. God’s people are rising up to be the salt and light that the world needs. We will move in signs and wonders and even though the world grows darker and more lost, we can REST fully in the assurance that God’s Sovereign hand is upon His children. It may get rocky. But we can walk through it. Heck, we live in persecution most every day in our own homes. We the SUMites need to go out and teach the church how to endure and love those who persecute us.

SUMites, what if things get so bad that I die in some crazed war or famine or fire??? My friends, I’m not threatened by heaven. I know where I’m going so I’m determined to stand for truth.

SUMites. Let me tell you what I believe God is doing.

A Great Awakening

1857 was the beginning of the Third Great Awakening, which began in New York City following a stock market crash. Do you know how this awakening came to life? POCKETS OF PRAY-ERS. Men and women who met in homes, at the workplace on lunch hours and after hours. God’s people began to pray and it released a powerful revival. (Read more about the Great Awakenings)

Today, this is the call to the World wide church, our assignment is to gather and pray for our countries, our world and for the church to rise into power. It is a for such a time as this for Jesus Christ to take the world back through love, signs, wonders and miracles.

I meet every other Friday with women in my home. We pray. We prayed this past Friday for our county, for our world and for the advancement of the Kingdom. It was powerful and angels were sent on assignment. You can do the same thing. And today, we have the internet. God is alive and well on the net. So today, take heart. Be of GREAT courage and pray. Our world is heading for one of the largest, most amazing awakening-revivals ever to hit planet earth. It's the BEST time to be alive!!!!

Today, pray. Pray in the comments and let’s “AMEN” one another. Let’s loose heaven (Matt 18:18) and send angels on assignment. Let’s bind the devils and cripple their attempts to scare us (Matt 18:18). Let’s rise and be men and women who are: The Armies of the Living God.

Hallelujah!!! I love you. See you in the comments and again in August. BIG hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Did God See That Coming?

Listen In!!

 image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comToday's message is straight from my heart for every SUMite. 

Truth.... Perspective.... Courage.... No Fear.... Power.... AND Declaration Prayer at the End. Join me and be inspired and encouraged. I LOVE YOU.... LYNN

 

 

 

 If you can't see this video in the news feed, click here.

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


July 4th: Renewing Our Hope and Trust in God

4thJulyDear SUM family, Lynn and I hope and pray the series on the Books of Peter has encouraged and strengthened you. We enjoyed sharing this journey with you, and Lynn and I both feel so honored to be a part of this community and to be praying for you. Your requests Monday have moved our hearts so deeply, and we know they have moved our King Jesus' heart too. He died for us, He lives for us, He cries with us, He heals us. We believe this in the Name of Mighty Jesus, and as His Word stands,

But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them. — Isaiah 52:6 NLT

My friends, this is the truth we stand on and right now as many of are grappling with the recent supreme court ruling. Lynn and I want you to know that we are too. We have felt our own grief along with a heavy grief that we can only describe as coming from the spiritual realm. We are processing this with hearts and minds turned to Abba for wisdom and guidance, and we are determined to stand on the truth and in the great love and hope of Jesus above all.

He is faithful, my friends. As I walked and prayed on Monday, the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart that the Lord is releasing hope for His children right now. And as I looked up into the sky, I heard His still soft voice say,

"I reign supreme."

Things are shifting and changing, yes, but Our God is the same as always. 

So as we celebrate Independence Day in America, my friends, let's renew our hope and trust in God. He reigns supreme and nothing changes that. I know it's challenging right now, as many of us are walking in places of disappointment and defeat. Next week, Lynn and I have some very encouraging words to share with you, things the Holy Spirit has impressed upon us to share to encourage, uplift and strengthen you so we can persevere and run this race well together as God's family.

Lynn and I are taking the rest of the week off, but we'll still be hanging out in the comments. As of next week, I will be switching my posting days to Tuesday and Thursday and Lynn will continue to post on Monday and Friday. We feel this will better serve our community. We hope you think so too.

And just a heads up. We have something very special planned for August. Our Lord is so good. He is working to put things into place to equip you, my friends. Lynn and I are excited to share this study that we believe will help you to equip your children in navigating the waters of this changing world and stand for God's truth. Right in their schools. We will be using our book Not Alone as reference to do this.

Lots happening, SUMites. Lynn and I truly believe our SUM family is here for such a time as this. Have an amazing holiday, hug your hubby and kiddos tight and tell them how thankful you for them. Perhaps the face of freedom is shifting in this country, but our freedom in Christ is the same as ever, my friends.

We love you, SUMites! See you on Monday!
Dineen and Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Persecution - The Books Of Peter - Will The Church Go Underground?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSo…… Ahem, ya. (long sigh)

I planned on writing about suffering. So this week I experienced persecution, first-hand. Sheesh! Why does that always happen?

Peter shares a few common themes through his two books. Today we are going to look at suffering. Specifically let’s read:

If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. —1 Peter 4:14

Most of the passages within Peter’s books focus on suffering for our faith. Persecution.

Stay tuned as we will discuss suffering and physical healing next. But today, I believe we should focus on the suffering we endure because of our faith.

It’s obvious when reading through the books of Peter that he was a persecuted man. His feelings and his charge to the churches for endurance are evident. I personally believe that persecution is the only suffering that God truly expects us to experience.

For our SUMite Nation, persecution is very real. We endure a rare and difficult persecution because we face ridicule, shaming, hatred and discord within our home. We also endure persecution in the public realm.

For me, I am equipped to handle the words that come at me from the public realm, well at least, most of the time. When an ugly email arrives or people criticize me for my faith, call me "over the top", a zealot, crazy. I’m really okay. Some of these words have been uttered by close friends and even close relatives. Sometimes it hurts. I take those hurts and their lack of understanding to the feet of Jesus. He always centers me in truth and love. Therefore, I can walk forward, certain of my identity and my purpose and forgive their ridicule.

But it’s different when your faith is mocked and you are insulted or shamed by a loved one with whom you live. That happened to me with week. Ugh!!! It’s pain and it’s hard. I cried. You cry. I get it.

But even through the pain I know I’m blessed. I remain alert and of sober mind. As the enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour me. But I RESIST HIM. I STAND FIRM IN FAITH (truth). And I also know that the God of all grace who called me to his eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will restore me, personally and make me strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:8-10 my paraphrase)

My friends, I believe that persecution is only going to ramp up. Today, believers are unable to be honest about their beliefs in the public realm about many issues which are clear in scripture, gay marriage comes to mind, without being called out as haters. I’m not a hater. I have gay friends and I grieve that they haven’t found their identity in Jesus yet. I grieve that this particular subject brings great grief and discord into our marriages, between our children, and between close family members.

This is where persecution “gets real.” We aren’t afforded the peace and protection that other Jesus followers have within an “all-believer” home. We remain on the front lines of the battle every day, every news broadcast, every image of Bruce Jenner, every article where a bakery is shuttered because the owners hold fast to their convictions. These moments are real flash points in our homes.

Truly, we live in confusing times. The challenges to our faith are growing. It’s difficult to walk this path of righteousness. But, we walk with the King! This current tide of public opinion didn’t take Him by surprise. He isn’t up in heaven nervously tapping His fingers, pondering, O, what should we do? He is brilliant, kind, loving, filled with mercy, and unending love. He will walk us through all of this and He stands as our defender and He will bring us through the fire with a supernatural love that overcomes words of hate, misunderstanding, fear and demonic deception.

This one thing I know, 2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials…..

So, my friend, I will cry with you when the words spoken by a loved one cuts through your heart. I will sigh as I watch the path toward the gates of hell grow ever wider. I will pray with never-failing energy, conviction and passion for you, your spouse, your children, our world. I pray and I pray. I trust and I believe. I stand firm and know that I know, in my knower, God is good. He is faithful to rescue, restore, and heal. Our God is able! Peace and love define Him!

And remember, if you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. How amazing is that? 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


They Heard A Voice

This week something supernatural happened that made national news. I will say that I'm not surprised as I have expected that the world is going to see more and more of God's supernatural intervention in our world. What so great about this story is that four men corroborate the story.

A mother and baby were in a car that careened out of control and cashed upside down in a river. The mother was killed on impact and the baby survived for 15 hours strapped upside down in her car seat. That is a miracle in itself but what I'm interested in is what happened when the fire and police arrived to initiate the rescue. 

Rescuers Heard A Voice

Then, suddenly, they started hearing the distinct sound of a woman’s voice, calling to them to help.

We heard a voice saying 'help me, we're in here.' It was clear as day. We replied back 'hang in there, we're trying what we can.'

“We replied back ‘hang in there, we’re trying what we can.’ ”

The voice motivated them to push harder because they believed there may be someone inside who was still alive. With their adrenaline pumping they pulled the heavy, water-filled car onto its side and discovered the driver was dead.

The officers had no explanation for the mysterious voice that appeared to come from inside the car. Beddoes said he said he wouldn’t believe it really happened had not the other officers heard it, as well.

“I don’t know what I thought I heard,” he said. “I’m not a typically religious guy. It’s hard to explain — it was definitely something. Where and why it came from, I’m not sure.”

 

Listen to this video and share your thoughts in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

PS. You know I'm just seeing the title of this video and NO I don't think the voice is the mothers. Just sayin'.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


I'm Pissed Off!!!

Can I say that on a Christian blog?

Well, at least it's a righteous anger.....

Read with me and then share with me your thoughts. Hugs, Lynn

Believing Wife – Agnostic Husband (names have been omitted for privacy) 

IMG_2524[1]Earlier in the week, Dineen and I received an email from a reader who was seeking some perspective about her husband. When Dineen and I read it, almost simultaneously on different sides of America, the same thing happened. We both were filled with emotion. Heartbreak for our sweet SUMite and also a righteous anger. Here is a portion of her email and then a portion of my reply: 

My husband, a life-long believer, has become agnostic/atheist  after reading about evolution and every book & lectures from a (well-known agnostic author), and has also become very politically liberal in his worldview.  He has been sharing with our pre-teen (still believes) and teen (says she doesn't anymore and that God isn’t real) his reasons. 

My husband says he has vastly researched, is very sure he has the truth, and will never go back to Christianity and that it is important that our kids know his view point and "the truth" because he doesn't want them to have false hope, guilt, etc, and because while the bible does have some good things to say, it is not true and Christianity (along with other religions) can be dangerous.  This is a huge change in our almost 2 decade old relationship. 

I am trying to "not fear anything frightening" but this has been very difficult on me and our marriage.  I am extremely concerned for my children as they hear these things, and for myself, and of course for my husband….. Sister Sumite 

First of all my heart breaks for you (name omitted). I am so sorry you're in this place. But I'm so glad that you reached out to me and Dineen. And I will also tell you that Dineen received this email at the same time I did. I spoke with Dineen this morning and the same thing happened to her, she rose up in a righteous anger about your situation. 

So I want to share my thoughts about your husband leaving Christianity and choosing to be agnostic. As clear as I could hear it from the Lord himself, I heard this: This man, this atheist author, may write his little atheist books but they will not be around past 50 years from now. And he may be deceiving people through his writing; however, these silly little books propagated by the demonic realm will come to nothing. And most of them will never be read after 20 years from now. 

But My Holy Word has been around for not only several centuries but two millennia. Great armies have come against My Word but they cannot stop it from reaching into people's lives and bringing my love, hope, and freedom. 

(My friend), when you put this into perspective I hope the truth of God's word rises up before you and becomes very powerful. Your husband has not treated you fairly either as a wife and mother. For him to lay down rules that everyone in the family must follow, according to his belief system, I find that absolutely reprehensible. Marriage is a partnership not a dictatorship. You and your children deserve, and should be enabled and empowered to practice and speak about your faith in your own home. I have very strong convictions about this so please read my words and pray about them. I'm praying for you to have courage to go to your husband and bring some balance back into your relationship with regard to faith matters. 

And now Sweet Sister, I want to share my thoughts about your teenage daughter. And I ask that you would read through this and take these thoughts to the Lord in prayer and ask him about what I'm going to share. When I read the sentence that your daughter, your 15-year-old daughter, has now lost her faith because of her father, I was deeply grieved in my spirit. Because teenage girls, especially a girl your daughter’s age, face some of the most difficult challenges to their identity during the teenage years. They are under a barrage from every direction that challenges their hope, their identity, and their self-worth and many other things that have lasting, lifelong, effects on their lives. And what I see your husband has done to your daughter through his doubt in God, he has stolen her hope. And right now more than ever a 15-year-old girl needs to have hope. She needs to know there is a higher power that has got her back, that will never leave her nor forsake her, that loves her for who she is and not what she looks like. I'm deeply grieved that the hope of the living God has been stolen from your daughter by her own father. Please forgive me if this seems harsh, but this is really how I felt deep in my heart. And I know this is exactly how Jesus feels right now about your daughter. And he feels the same way about you. 

My friend, let Dineen and I be the voice from Jesus that you need to hear today. God is absolutely real. I have experienced him personally and so has Dineen. He loves us. He will take care of us. And he is our hope. Every. Single. Day. My friend I ask that you might go speak to a pastor to have someone help to shore up your faith and learn to walk in this situation with courage and to stand your ground on what you know is true. Also, if your husband pushes these books by this author at you again, you can simply say I've made up my mind. I don't need to read these it doesn't make me less of a person, if I don't have an open mind to every book that you shove at me. Personally, for me, I told my husband that I don't need to explore any other faiths, religions, or books. I know in my heart that the living word of God is the absolute truth. And millions upon millions of people throughout centuries and centuries have discovered the same thing. The Bible is the blueprint for living a happy and joy filled life. 

I promise you, in 50 years, no one will be reading this atheist’s books. But in 50 years from now, millions will be reading the Bible. Love you much, Lynn and Dineen 

I wrote more to her about praying for her and I hope and pray my words encouraged her. I hope and pray now that these words reach deeply into anyone else that is walking in a journey similar.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


#SUM Nation Walmart Day

Hi Sumites, 

Things are coming together for this Thursday, our Walmart Prayer Day. I also call this adventure one of our Random Acts of Kindness days. 

When I started this adventure all I had was a Word. A Word from God. I saw a picture in my mind of shoppers at Walmart in line to check out and shoppers in line for prayer. I didn’t know if this was a good idea, if you would support it, or if anyone would show up with me to pray.

Well of course, we won’t know the full scope of this escapade until it’s finished. But let me tell you what has happened already. You, the SUMite Nation have donated in small amounts at a time and some large amounts (a few of you) so much money that we have a ton of gift cards. I have money to purchase the flowers for the kids and enough to cover the signs and other small expenses. 

THANK YOU! 

Donations came from all over the world. Who knew? 

God did!!! 

On Thursday the crowd who is joining me continues to grow. When I started this adventure I wasn’t sure if one other person would be brave enough to stand outside of Walmart and ask people if they want prayer. But it seems that most of the people I’ve asked said yes. And as more people find out, they want to join in. I believe SUMites are coming from out-of-state. What I love is that all the volunteers are from different churches. What a beautiful way to represent the united Body of Christ to the world. I can’t wait to hug your necks and share photos. 

I’m overwhelmed by God’s people. Overwhelmed that people are willing to give their money. Give their time. Teenagers willing to walk around with signs and hug people and give them a smile. 

Our world is a tough place. In the last week alone my head spins when I consider all the shootings across America, Canada and elsewhere. BUT, there are good people in the world. And the SUMite Nation… We are the good people. We are people filled with love, the Holy Spirit and with a relentless hope. We are the people who can make a change for good and reflect love and kindness. 

I believe Thursday will reflect everything that this community is about. 

For this week will you pray for Thursday. I expect push-back from the dark realms but I know with our prayers there will be people on Thursday whose very life may be altered forever, who will be saved, or healed, because we gave, we prayed, we loved. 

Monday: Pray that the Walmart store comes under an open heaven. That the store is free from any and all dark dominion, curses or lies of the enemy. Pray for the management of the store in this way as well. 

Tuesday: Pray that God keeps our prayer team healthy and that no one is kept from attending. 

Wednesday: Pray for the people who will be shopping. Pray that God gives us boldness and courage and that the shoppers are receptive and feel safe to receive prayer.

Thursday: Pray all that morning for divine encounters, healings, angelic visitations, and for powerful miracles. Pray that people have an encounter with God. 

Friday: I will post photos and share stories. We will be posting on Thursday some photos and thoughts on our Sum Facebook page

I love you SUMites. I KNOW we hold a special place in the Kingdom. Our trials and difficulties in our mismatched marriages lead us from glory to glory. This is one of the glories!!! 

Hugging you tight. Lynn

1 Corinthians 13

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


The Movie: NOAH

Noah
Well, I don’t know about you but this past few days I’ve been reading some reviews and reports about the movie, Noah, that opened on Friday. It’s fascinating to me how many differing views there are from the Christian population alone. Honestly, I’ve been disappointed to read some of them. I will state here I haven’t yet watched the film but I’m sharing only my thoughts and perspective regarding all the hoopla! 

First, let me acknowledge that there are many who bristle that the movie is not a perfect depiction of scripture. It’s not even close as I understand. But I wonder why that gets so many people turned inside out. Many of the Christian fictions books we read by the millions also are filled with a large amount of creative license. But, that’s not what I want to consider today. 

For all of us who are married to Pre-believers, this movie may be the one movie our spouses will attend with us. I see this as an enormous opportunity to open up discussion about the real story with our spouse. This may be a chance to have an honest conversation, without fighting, about our faith. 

So, while the Christian community debate one another on this subject (which adds fuel to the atheists perspectives on Christians and our spouses, I might add), I wonder if we might have been given a gift to use to draw our faith and our spouse closer together? 

On Saturday I asked my husband if he would attend the film with me. 

“Why would I want to see that?” Ahem, yep, he’s blunt. *grin* 

I pray that some of us will give grace to the creators of the film and perhaps one spouse in our House of SUM will experience a stirring in his/her heart.

Thoughts? 

Love and hugs, Lynn 

*Please share your thoughts, even if you disagree with me, with grace and love in the comments.

 

** Congrats to Anel R. You were the winner of the Audio Book drawing. I emailed you.

Watch for another drawing soon.

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Hope Restorers

(Read this post all the way through because you don’t want to miss what is about to happen) 

Lynn here……It’s Sunday evening here as I write this note to you. I’m smiling as I type for two reasons. First, the Denver Broncos WON!!  All is right with the world. Second, I spent the better part of two hours reading the comments left on the fasting posts from last week. Wow. 

Your words for one another, move my spirit. They move the Lord’s heart. Words of love, encouragement, wisdom, and words that exalt and nurture each other. Words that bring honor, glory, praise and worship to our King. This community is amazing and we truly are a representative of God’s love. And because of our love, the world may know that God sent His only Son. 

The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as you loved Me. John 17:22-23 

My head is filled with so much from the past few days. God has imparted some revelation and truths. He has filled me with a fire, a burning passion, for all of you and for the work He has assigned this community. I don’t even know where to start. 

I want to write about Spiritual warfare. Post such as recognizing the enemy spirits in our lives such as defeating the Orphan Spirit, contending with the Religious Spirit, ridding our lives of the Poverty Spirit, rebuking death,and breaking a “soul tie.” I have a ton more topics in this realm rattling around in my heart and soul.   

Then I’m overflowing with posts and thoughts about healing. Learning wow our healing is declared and delivered and learning how to receive it. And I’m talking about healing in every area; emotional, spiritual, and PHYSICAL… Just astounding stuff… I tell you, I’m so excited about all that God is doing right now. 

And then there’s the really, really BIG stuff. God’s plans for 2014 and for this community. Did you know that you are part of this community by His powerful and love-filled design? He personally chose you. He has placed you here as vessels of love and compassion. Out of our deep struggles in our mismatched marriages, we are the very ones who will be the first in Kingdom’s purposes. We are the Hope-Restorers. 

WE ARE THE HOPE RESTORERS!

What does this mean? 

My friends, this is the reason that our little community was born in 2006. There is great and powerful work in the Kingdom and we have been put together to have a significant influence in this world. Influence that comes with supernatural power and compassion. We truly are an anointed vessel to bring change to our homes, our cities, our states and nations. I can’t wait to see how God is going to use us to do this but I’m completely convinced we play a powerful role in the near future, even today. (Psalm 67) 

I have more to say on this as well. But tonight as I write, I hear the Father speaking to us. He knows that we have much to do and we will experience great things in the near future but before we move forward into all of that, He just wants to love on us. So, please take a minute and step once more into your prayer time, your secret place. Allow the Father to gently place His hands on each side of your face. Feel Him gently come near, embracing your face and lifting your face with closed eyes to listen to Him speak words of love into your heart. Hear Him now as He holds your face, your very countenance, in His embrace. 

"I am delighted in all of you." 

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing." ~Zephaniah 3:17 


My friends, shortly after returning from Bethel, God woke me in the night. I kept hearing over and over, Zephaniah three. Over and over. I called Dineen the next morning and asked her, “Is there even a book in the Bible that is named Zephaniah?” I had some distant remembrance in my foggy brain. But why was God giving me this verse? 

IMG_1485[1]
Read the verse below as well. I will remove sorrow, He says. I will deal with all who oppressed you. Wow!

Well, finally today, I understand why. I received this verse in an email this week. The email was about God’s people becoming Hope-Restorers. And low and behold, I open my Bible up and this single verse was underlined from the time when God gave it to me months ago. It is a confirmation that God wants us to feel His love and His gladness. He will quiet us with His love and sing loudly over us. Whoa.. 

Just WHOA!! 

So, I’m not sure what I will write about first but come Friday get ready. Because we are beginning a new era at SUM. We are a body who has been chosen to bring much healing, love, and compassion to the world. And this healing, love, and compassion- He is giving them to us first. Exciting! 

I know I’ve shared a lot with you. So what do you think? Where should we get started? I love all of you so much. So very much. Pray BIG this week. Ask the impossible and then share your stories with me as you watch our Father move. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Are we living in the Last of Days?

Are we living in the Last of Days? 

The Ascension of Jesus 

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” 

7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 

A few months ago I was visiting a church on a Sunday morning. It was a lovely church filled with the Holy Spirit and with people who love Jesus. On this particular Sunday the church had a guest pastor whose message wasn’t supposed to be about the end of the world but it meandered that way. The pastor was animated. He would jump up and down (I like animated speakers) he was motivated and passionate. His message included questions to the audience such as, “Do you realize that we are in the very last days? Are you ready for Christ to return today, tomorrow? Have you shared Jesus with everyone? Are you prepared to face the suffering?” 

The teaching moved along and as I sat in the second row, I glanced around at the congregation and I could “feel” the anxiety of the audience rise. The more he spoke, the more the parishioners became freaked out. By the time the message was over, I wanted to run for the nearest fallout shelter, hunker down and wait it out. SHEESH! 

ZomapoOkay, perhaps I wasn’t that amped up but I literally felt sorrow for how this pastor, and he was well meaning and I believe a good man with a heart for God, but I felt regret about what had just happened to the body of believers. 

So, I’m going to share my perspective. I’m hoping that by doing so, it will alleviate unnecessary anxiety that believers place on themselves over the Apocalypse and Christ’s return. And I pray with a fervent heart that my words release a fresh anointing of freedom into your heart, mind and life. 

Let me state clearly here that Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 

So NO ONE knows when. Period. The End. And I think that most of us have heard that every generation since the time of Jesus’ ascension, has fully believed they were the living generation in which Christ would return to earth. Why would we believe differently? Just look at how many prophetic realities have occurred in the past 50 years. But that’s just it. There are many more that wait to be fulfilled.

So I propose to you to consider and pray and ask God about a few things. Dineen and I have written about this Great Harvest in recent months. And so many others Christian leaders are also convinced we are sitting on the edge of the greatest harvest of souls in human history. In fact, when I talk to God about this, I hear over and over, 1 Billion Souls. 1 Billion Souls. 1 Billion Souls. 

God is preparing the harvesters to bring into the Kingdom ONE BILLION NEW SOULS. And if that is where God’s Kingdom is focused and going, why in the world would Christ return before it happens? 

Also, what I see happening when a message of urgency to the point of anxiety is preached about the end times it that it turns believers to be inward focused. We worry and dwell on things like survival supplies, and our unsaved family members and fret about what will happened and how it will happen and then guess what? Fear takes over and squelches the Holy Spirit. The Spirit does not dwell in fear. The Spirit wants our hearts and thoughts to be outwardly focused so we are thinking about how to love others and share with them the hope we have in Christ. 

So as I sat in that auditorium I just prayed, “Lord, if the end of days is tomorrow. I’m ready. But I’m in tune with your will and purposes and I know there are one billion souls to reach. So, Father I release all fears I have over the end times and I trust that when that day arrives, I will go to be with you. Period. The End. 

For now Lord, I want to be people focused, outwardly focused. I contain the best news in the universe, that You love people and want them to live in joy and freedom. Lord, make that my focus every single day and I know you will take care of every detail. Don’t let me get caught up in the frenzy of End Times but let me love people with Your love. We have much work ahead and Daddy, I’m up for it. Thank you for allowing me to be a vessel of love and hope too many. In King Jesus name. Amen.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Same Sex Marriage

Psalm 2:1-4 Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. "Let us break their chains," they cry, "and free ourselves from this slavery." But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. 

I was sitting on the bank of a river when The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which limited the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal benefits, as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. This decision forces the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in states where it is legal and paving the way for it in California, the most populous state. And as I sat there, holding a fishing rod in one hand and my cell phone in the other reading this news alert, I just felt…… sad. 

Disappointed. 

And I know many in our community have strong feelings and emotions over this paradigm shift in our culture. 

Since that day I have wrangled with the implications of this decision. After all, Dineen and I write about marriage. SUM is a marriage blog seeking to encourage men and women to thrive in a God-centered marriage. I called Dineen when I returned and we spent a few hours discussing and processing. I know for me I was disappointed and then puzzled as to how the voters of our state were hijacked in this matter as same-sex marriages have already resumed in California. 

And as I write to you today, however, I’m actually feeling excited. And later on in this post (which is likely to run long… stay to the end because it gets really good) I will explain why I’m excited and why you will be as well. 

But before we get there I’m compelled to raise some issues that we the SUMites need to camp on personally, privately and corporately, and with a fervent prayer. 

Firstly, let’s remember what is at the core of the House of SUM. We are always –ALWAYS – about love. The love of God and our love for people. We are always about what we are for and not what we are against. What are we for? Living in the Presence of our Holy and Righteous God. And striving to share His love with others. We are also a community who believes in marriage as ordained by God in Genesis 2. 

With love in the forefront of our hearts and minds, let’s consider the implications of redefining marriage. In the history of the United States, marriage has always been between one man and one woman. The door that opened last week, if you follow the logic out a number of years invites us to consider that marriage will continue to be redefined by the courts over and over again. In fact, CNN reports a Polyfidelitous union, a union between three people. I expect we will witness marriages between not only three consenting adults but between, five, six, seven… Dare I take this out to the ridiculous, between a dog and owner. I know that people want to pass their inheritance to their pet when the die, so why not? (said with cautious contemplation) 

Why do I bring this to your mind? It’s not to bring fear. Only to prepare you to expect it. 

My friends, we need not fear. We need only to love. I know my fears about this redefinition hit home when raising kids. How will this shift in our society change my child’s view on marriage and on gays? Well I can tell you kids in public school have already faced many aspects of homosexuality. My daughter has gay friends. I know her friends and I will tell you that I have embraced them. I say to their face, “I love you. You are always welcome in our home.” And I hug them every chance I get. We must have honest conversations with our kids about this issue but more importantly our marriages must be a shining example to our children. If our kids see mom and dad living in love with one another and honoring each other and mom or dad (the believer) loving Jesus, they will want that for themselves when they mature and marry. 

We live in a broken, hurting and messed up world my friends. And WE HAVE THE ANSWER. We have the love of Christ that trumps everything. 

The gay life style is not the ideal of God. Dare I remind you that being unequally yoked is not God’s ideal and best for people? However, in spite of our mismatached marriage, God shows up. He loves us, even in our messed up, sinful lives. He pursues us, shows us His power, purposes and invites us into the greatest adventure ever, living the abundant life. 

You may be disappointed and angry. And it may seem like a great defeat to the Kingdom but my friends…. My Friends, our all-powerful God isn’t worried. 

Let me share a story with you. 

Satan seethed with a blistering laugh. His great centuries of plotting, maneuvering and planning met their zenith. He screeched with elations along with the millions of demons as he stood in hell.

“We have killed the Christ,” he raged with glee. 

The crucifixion of Jesus was the darkest hour of human existence. And in that moment when Jesus died Satan really believed he had won. He was certain he’d defeated the Son of God who came to earth to teach us how to walk in the power and authority of God and how to live in abundance and communion with God. He danced and began to plan the very take-over of the entire world and to declare the world no longer belonged to God. 

But…. When all seemed that absolute darkest… Guess what? Out of this horrific slaying, God shows up and with the resurrection power brings Christ back to life. He splits time in two. And creates for all people, ALL people, the way to escape the devil, live in His Presence on earth and a way to live forever. 

Say WHAT????? 

Jesus rose out of what seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen to people. And gave us the BEST thing that could ever happen. Salvation! 

God says, “So long satan. What you intended for evil I have used for the greatest good for all men.” 

“HUZZAH!” (I think God would have said this *sheepish grin*) 

But, my friends, don’t you think God could do this again? And if He so desires, couldn’t He begin with the gay community? 

My friends, we are the believers who are are sitting on the precipice of one of the greatest revivals to ever grace the world. The spiritual realms are alive. Ordinary people are having encounters with God. Thousands every week are turning to Christ in faith. Let’s not get distracted by some mere law makers. Keep our eyes focused on God. Live your faith out in front of your family. Love people and watch what our Great God can and will do. 

This is only my humble offerings on a highly sensitive subject. Now, please share your thoughts and lavish them with love and grace. I love you. I love God and it’s my calling for the rest of my life to love all people. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Weekend Devo — A Picture Says It All

DishCluster I went to visit a friend recently and as I left, I noticed this cluster of sattelite dishes on one of the buildings. I know each dish is for a residence but doesn't this say a lot about where are interests and focus lay in today's world? It really struck me as pertinent.

So, let's make a game of it. What caption would put with this picture? Let's get creative and witty. The winning caption will receive a special gift! Have fun!

Praying and believing,
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Weekend Devo — Love Me

LoveMe I took this picture in a store the other day. The message is so indicative of state of mind, heart and soul that is prevalent today. My daughter and I talked about it and found two angles to look at it.

One, the obvious is the very selfish and self-centered message relayed here. The wearer makes it clear that it is all about her. But what if that’s just the surface we’re seeing? What if we dig a little deeper?

The second angle, and perhaps on the flip side of this selfish coin, is the need to be loved and accepted. To be known and understood. When we seek to fill that need with people and things, we can easily wind up looking like the first one—selfish and self-centered.

Dealing with individuals like this isn’t easy. They often repel the very love they seek by their behavior. Yet the truth is, we are all selfish and self-centered to some degree. Only Jesus working in us can overcome our self-serving nature and move us closer to the humble and servant-like attitude that defines His character.

I’m sure there are more angles to look at this, but I think in the end it still comes down to the same need God built into all of us and how we each choose to fill it.

Truly, He’ll tell you, there’s only one choice.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Pant, Pant, Breathe

 Mark 13:5 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines and calamities. This is but the beginning of the intolerable anguish and suffering (only the first of the birth pangs). AMPLIFIED

September 11, 2001 ~ a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States.

Pant....... 

Pant.......

Breathe.......

Katrina, Middle East Conflicts, Iraq, Afghanistan, deadly snow storms, earth quakes, famine....

September 2008 ~ Global Financial Crisis, liquidity shortfall in the US banking system and has resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world.

Pant

Pant

Breathe

April 2, 2011 ~ Tohoku Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster. One of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world overall since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

Pant
Pant

Breathe 

April 20, 2010 ~ Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. The largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Pant
Pant
Breathe

April 25-28, 2011 ~ An extremely large and violent tornado outbreak, the largest in US history.

Pant, Pant, Breathe

May 2011 ~ The Mississippi River flood in May 2011 were among the largest and most damaging along the US waterway in the past century.

PANT, PANT, BREATHE

May 21, 2011 ~ Iceland volcano erupts spewing ash 18,000 feet into the Stratosphere.

Pant, pant, breathe,.... Pant, pant, breathe....

May 22, 2011 ~ Joplin, MO Tornado. A mile-wide funnel touched down at 5:41 p.m. CT Sunday and blasted a six mile wide path. The deadliest single tornado in nearly 60 years, according to federal records.

PANT.... PANT.... BREATHE....

______

I'm fascinated with the increasing speed and the ferocity. Are you? Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


The Schwarzenegger Rant

(Photo: Reuters / Tomas Bravo)
Mariaarnoldshwartz Okay, I’m not really sure where this post is going today but I think I’m about to go on a rant.

I am utterly and wholly disappointed and sad over the impending divorce of Arnold and Maria Schwarzenegger. I am outright devastated for the children, and the son of the household employee. I’m devastated for all of them.

It’s a tragedy that continues to play out in an ever growing and ugly fashion. I live in Southern California and it’s the talk everywhere. Are you hearing about it all where you live?

I guess my heart breaks for marriage in general. It grieves me that after 25 years…. NOW it’s a failure. I think I felt this way when Al and Tipper Gore separated after 40 years. But if I have learned anything in these years of marriage ministry, I have learned that the marriage behind closed doors is the real marriage. Often when we observe married couples, we are only viewing their public face, much like watching celebrities. What their real relationship is all about is rarely glimpsed in the public. Would you agree?

What can we learn from this strange turn of events? Can we see that marriage is a union of two people that are not always mature, or wise? They are often selfish and insecure. Can we take notice that a good marriage takes work, trust, and more than anything, constant prayer?

Let this misfortune remind us that we can never stop working on our marriage relationship. We must be intentional to spend time together. To be spontaneous. To love and to honor and to respect our mate.

Okay, your thoughts? Rants? Prayers?

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Thankful Thursday - Under God's Hand

Thankful Thursday is at Grace Alone in March, back here in April and at Women Taking a Stand in May.

Hello... IT'S THANKFUL THURSDAY.

Two days ago I sat in the church office with my friend, Pam. We were talking about the developing nuclear disaster in Japan. Pam looked at me and said, "The arrogance of man that we think we can control nature. " 

No one thought a 9.0 earthquake was possible in Japan. 

I'm grievous for the people in Japan. Please join me today to pray for them. To pray for our world. 

But mostly today, let's remember that our God, the Creator of all things, He has His hand over this world. Pray that He covers Japan and in and through this event, Jesus is revealed to many.

Be Embraced by the King, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Television and our Kids

So I’m bugged.

And I’m going to have to chat about it.

I’m opening up a bucket of worms in controversy. But if we as believers don’t talk about some of this stuff how are we going to help one another?

Television So I’m bugged about television.

On several levels.

I may not have all of my facts in order but I do have my heart in order on this subject so here we go.

Skins.

MTV’s new racy show "Skins" is everywhere. Not only did its premiere episode attract more than 3 million viewers, it's been written about in hundreds of newspapers, magazines and blogs. That's because advertisers are dropping like flies; Shick, Wrigley, and today, Subway, all pulled the plug. That makes seven so far. The sexually charged show features high school students who routinely have sex, drink alcohol and do drugs.

The show is rated TV-MA and includes the appropriate disclaimer in the beginning of each show. That rating means that it may not be suitable for teens under 17. But still, kids as young as 12 years old are watching the show. And many of the actors are under the age of 18. ~From PIX 11 online. 1/24/11

In my research about this show I discovered a quote from one of the cast:

Sofia, 18, defends the show, saying, "It's what teens are doing. It's the way teenagers believe, I think, especially you know in certain situations when you come from home lives where your parents don't really support you or really listen to you. That's what most of these kids are going through."

Okay, so now I’m really bugged.

I have a teen daughter, 15 ½ years old. I asked her today about this show.

“Caitie, have you heard of the TV show, Skins?”

“Ya”

“Do you know what it’s about?”

“Ya, it’s kids smoking, drinking, having sex and doing drugs.”

“Yes, that’s what I heard it was about too.”

I want to set the tone of this conversation with you. I’m not approaching my daughter with a tone of accusation, but one of I’m really curious about what teens are thinking and what is really happening out there. And she knows I write about some of this stuff. So, I went on with my questions.

“Cait, have you watched it?”

“No, mom.”

“Do you want to? Do you want to see what it’s all about?”

“No.”

“Why”

“It’s inappropriate.” Her real answer.

You see she could watch this if she really wanted to. I wouldn’t know. Any teenager is going to watch what they really want to through the internet, a friend’s house, etc.

Our conversation continued, “Do you agree with one of the stars who said that it’s what teenagers are doing. Are your friends doing this stuff?” Now remember my daughter attends a large public high school in Southern California. (Ya, she’s already exposed to stuff in high school I wouldn’t have dreamed could be possible even 10 years ago.)

But my daughter responds, “No Mom, my friends and most of the kids as a whole aren’t doing this stuff. But there are always a group of kids who have a crappy home life that are into it.”

So why am I sharing this long and weird conversation with you? Because most of us here in this community are parents. AND we are parents who are raising kids in a spiritually mismatched home. And we are parents who have kids that watch television.

But we can take a moment of hope here.

I'v realized today that now as my daughter is age 15 ½, all those years of pouring myself and my faith into her are showing their fruit.

It hit me, she is choosing for herself to reject Skins as a program she doesn’t want to watch even though it’s all the talk at the High School.

Parenting in a home where two different world views exist is challenging, especially when it comes to television choice. Our spouse may not be watching Skins but they might be viewing something else that is bordering on inappropriate wickedness.

Okay, so my thoughts on television are just getting going but this post is already too long. So we are going to take this conversation out for a long walk until we have all found some truths to add to our parenting arsenal and some suggestions on how to handle conflict with our spouse when it comes to media choices including, television, movies, books, etc.

This seems to be a very real irritant in our skins and an ongoing conflict in our marriages that spills over to our children and parenting. (Do you agree?)

So today, I’m greatly interested in your parenting efforts as it relates to television. Is it really THAT big of a deal what they watch? What is age appropriate? What do you do if Dad/Mom says it’s okay and you know it’s not? Tell me how you are leading your children in their viewing choices.

I hope I’m not as bugged tomorrow about television but I bet I will be. I have much more to share as we walk this road. Looking forward to some “real and honest” conversations here so we can help each other with this very issue. Be blessed, Lynn

I’ll be checking in and adding to the conversation in the comments.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Politics is the New Bullying

Politics is the new Bullying

Last week our country suffered under full assault from the mudslinging, contentious and outright mean barrage of campaign commercials. As I watched with repulse on one specific evening I felt a smack in the face with a blaringly obvious irony. Let me explain.

A week, prior to the election, I planted myself on the couch to watch a national news broadcast. At the top of the broadcast, the main stories were ticked off as a teaser. On this particular evening, the first story slated intended to detail the nastiness of the political campaigns and the commercials that stream, non-stop, during the two weeks leading to the election. A few other stories were touted and then the end of the broadcast would be specifically dedicated to the story of our nation’s growing problem of bullying in our public schools.

I watched the broadcast unfold and could only think to myself, “Am I the only one that sees the irony here?”

California was ground zero for some of the worst campaign vilification in the nation. The media flashed these “attack ads” (their label not mine) displaying political candidates spewing slanderous words about their opponent. All the talking heads fed off the negativity and the entire two weeks felt like soul torture. Attack ads

Well on this particular newscast, I watched this top story of attack ads and then a few Viagra commercials. Finally, the story arrived at the end of the broadcast of epidemic badgering and bullying on school campuses. Children taunting other kids at school with hateful, hurtful words that then left the campus and continued their hatefulness using email and the ever-dangerous texting. Almost all school-aged kids have either been a bully or have been the recipient of a bullying or have been party to both.

I have a teenager so I know just how destructive bullying is to the young psyche. For crying out loud, harsh words also hurt grownups. So as I watched the stories on this particular night my mind screamed:

Our children are learning bullying from the adults.

The pundits appear baffled by the increase in the severity and the frequency of childhood bullying in our nation. But, HELLO. They are watching it 24/7 in their very own home. And it’s the adults who are the perpetrators. Television and video games glamorize adult bad behavior and it just seemed to me as I watched the broadcast this night that the political ads are the pinnacle of public bullying. Our children are not only barraged by the media, they also are likely to experience it at home with their siblings and even their parents.

So what can we learn and teach our children from this irony.

1) We as adults must set the example. We can’t change the news but we can TURN IT OFF. I will share with you that in the past I was a news program junkie. I think I watched about three to four hours of news programing a day. TOXIC. I look back at that period and realize I was pouring lethal trash into my soul. Garbage instead of what was noble, pure, praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) What lesson do you think your child would receive if you jumped off the couch, switched of the TV and said, “That is garbage and I won’t watch it.” Lead by example…. Not by words.

2) Find the remote and keep it close in hand. Mute, fast-forward and ignore the trash.

3) Take advantage of the “teachable moments” the election brings. Your kids will be voters soon. Teach them how to discover the truth. Show them how to select a candidate. Instruct them on what you look for and why you vote.

4) Vote. I will let you in on a little joke around our neighborhood. A few years ago while at a BBQ someone asked my husband and I, “So, do your votes cancel each other out?” I replied without hesitation, “You bet they do.” I said it proudly. Living in California, my Biblical views aren’t always popular but I vote for what I believe. I’m part of the process and my vote matters even if it’s only an example to my daughter.

5) Grasp every opportunity you have to praise your kids when they choose to be kind. Also, share with them stories and observations you have made where other kids were hurt by words and what likely happened to that child’s heart. Ask them how they would feel.

So much ugliness can transpire in a campaign season. Our nation divides and the enemy gloats. However, we need to remind our kids and ourselves that the important virtues in life are love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. These are the character traits that, in the end, people admire and will eventually win others over. And more importantly, they are qualities which are pleasing to God.

Be blessed, Lynn

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Thankful Thursday - What's In Store?

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

I am thrilled to be hosting Thankful Thursday in April. Next month we will meet with Laurie at Women Taking A Stand and then in June we will share our thanks over at Iris of Grace Alone.

Can you believe five weeks have past us by? Say WHAT? 

What happened to April? 

ChickentopWOW, what a month. I shared with you my multiple neighbor encounters of God dealing with my pride while I was out walking the dog and how I was a chicken in the grocery story. 

Imported Photos 00023This month you lived my discovery of the baby bird egg and our Living Hope.

And on the first of April you joined me and a bunch of my friends for our Passover seder. 

Imported Photos 00009 

 

Wow, I’m humbled and thrilled to count you as my TT buddies and friends. Thank you for sharing your life with me. One day in heaven about 100 years from now, we will all sit together and talk about our many Thankful Thursday adventures. I can’t wait for that day my friends. I surely can’t wait. I have a bear hug for each of you. 

I now pass the hosting on to Laurie at Women Taking A Stand. We will meet there next week and I still plan to participate, and will catch up with you then. But for now, I leave you with some coming changes, events, a new series and a miracle. 

On May 3rd we will launch our new blog design. I love the rings and grass my friends but it’s time for a change. You will love our new look. Stop back on Monday. 

On Tuesday, we are launching a new series, Friendship With God. What does that really mean? How are we supposed to fear God as the Bible says yet be His friend. What does that friendship look like in 2010 and ultimately we will discover together a friendship so profound, we will never, ever feel alone again. How cool is that? God is writing this so stop back. 

On Wednesday, I am sharing a personal story of the supernatural. It really happened but it is so weird and different, I’m not sure what you will think. Please let me know if you get goose bumps or do an eye roll….. It’s fantastically strange. 

Finally on May 10th I am going to share my personal story at A Woman Inspired Conference, Who Killed Cinderella? You will want to see what really happened to our Princess. I hope you can tune in.

I am deeply thankful that God held my hand each day of the month of April. He is always near, teaching, correcting, astounding me and loving me to greater heights in His Kingdom. 

What are you thankful for this week? Write you post, link up and give glory to the name of Jesus for all He does in your life. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


CONFLICT ~

You can't live with him...You can't live without him.

I have been pondering conflict.

Not world conflict, nor social conflict but that personal, in-your-face, conflict in marriage. I guess my thoughts on conflict have surfaced because of my most recent exchange with my own mate. Remember Church or no-Church?

If you are married, you deal with conflict. After all, we are human, broken and flawed. What troubles me is so often conflict is avoided or handled inappropriately. Therefore, I think we need to take a look at some real situations and discover how conflict is handled appropriately and through the lens of the Bible.

As I was in my quiet time a few days ago, speaking to the Lord, the following found its way into my prayer journal:

I wonder if many of us have a view that as a Christian, we must be the spouse who refrains from conflict. It is our duty as a follower of Christ to always be the peace maker and give in to the demands of our spouse and don’t rock the boat?

There are scriptures that point to this conclusion:

Proverbs 13:3 3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.

Ephesians 4: 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

And then there is this one:

James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Yikes!

It’s all so confusing.

There are times we should keep our mouth shut. Such was the case last week when my husband was moving slowly on Sunday morning and I thought we would be late to church, again. You may remember, I took control of my thoughts and then my mouth and said nothing. It was the right thing to do.

However, three weeks earlier the conflict that erupted between us in the most inopportune place and at the most in opportune time was necessary. Perhaps I could have made an issue of this growing church or no-church conflict at home later in the day. However, I am convinced the impact would have been feeble, my words ignored, and resolution of our differences would still be hanging out there.

People, there are times we not only need to rock the boat but we need to get out of the boat.

Now, don’t panic. You know I am not leading this conversation toward throwing in the towel. No, I want to look honestly at proper conflict and our responsibilities as believers in these unique marriages.

So how do we start to define this vast issue of conflict resolution? Let’s start with this; Is it Godly to draw the line in the sand?

What do you think?

Have a blessed week and stay tuned for more on CONFLICT, Can’t live with him. Can’t live without him.  Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Spiritual Leadership and the Heebie Jeebies

Jesus said: Luke 6:41 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Why, do we constantly feel the need to change our spouse?

Okay, perhaps it’s only me, but I don’t think I am alone. Often in my conversations with believers I discover that we, women, want our husbands to be the… -spiritual leader of the household.

Shudder…

Those few words can give me the heebie jeebies. Spiritual expectations create a ton of unhappiness in our married relationship. Okay, I know I have probably offended you. Stay with me here. Let me state that it is correct thinking and Biblical to desire our man to be the spiritual leader of our family. I get it, really.

Where I see this go terribly wrong is what we as women “think” that leadership should look like. Do the words family devotions and leading prayer nightly and Bible discussions with the kids and, and, and… ring a bell? Yikes!

I know there are a few men out there that bring these qualities and activities to the home. They are actually rare from all my years in talking with Christian women. If you have a man like this, kneel down right now and give thanks to God.

For the rest of us. Relax.

Why do you wait for your husband to lead devotions? Where did this expectation come from?

I would submit to you that men practice their faith differently than women.

Allow your husband to be who he is.

I know this, if my husband became an on fire believer tomorrow, he would never be comfortable enough to lead family devotions, and it would probably take him years just to pray out loud. I am okay with it. It doesn’t mean he would not be the spiritual leader of our home.

What Jesus calls us to see is our man’s fruit. Not just the man-(woman)-made suggestions of practicing faith. Take a step back. What is the fruit? What is in his heart for what is in the heart come out of the mouth. Look at his character. God cares so much for our character and a little less about leading family devotions.

Jesus said: Luke 6: 43 “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. 45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

Perhaps this was a tough post. Perhaps you don’t agree. That’s is okay. I hope however, it causes you to think about the good fruit in your man today. Give him a break for the things he may not do and give him a hug for the fruit that is evident. Have a blessed Friday, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books